The Core Elements and Principles of a Good Landscape Design

We see it every day – stunning landscapes and gardens that adorn homes and offices, or vast properties like hotels and resorts. But what makes a good landscape design? More than the pretty picture it presents, let us take a look at the elements that all work together to create a beautiful work of art where nature is the leading character.


Colour is the first thing you notice in any landscape. Whether it is a garden with varying shades of green, or a sprawling estate filled with numerous flowers of vibrant colours. Colour is the element that adds dimension to a landscape design – however, its use is not limited to the type of flora you can add to your landscape It can also be evident in your choice of colour for the walls, fences, or the pavement and the walkway.


Line is the element that influences the flow of a landscape design. For example, the use of vertical lines draws the eye upwards and creates the illusion that a certain space is larger than it is. Horizontal lines can also make a space look and feel bigger by leading the eyes to look along the ground. Straight lines, on the other hand, create a formal ambiance while curved lines characterize a more relaxed and casual design.


Texture is generally associated with the coarseness or smoothness of plants and trees, but these can also be exemplified by your choice of hardscape materials, including water features, furniture, stone fixtures, and pottery.


Form in landscape design refers to the natural shape of trees and plants. Their form is dependent on the overall look you want to achieve. Formal gardens ideally should have trimmed topiaries and hedges, while homey landscape designs should have softer and flowing forms.


Scale and proportion greatly influence the harmony of the entire landscape design. It is all about getting the right relationship – in terms of size – of all the elements in your outdoor space. This includes the greenery, water features, outdoor furniture walls, walkways and pavements, etc.

These five elements are typically the main factors that considerably determine and influence a great landscape design. Creating a design that incorporates these in a cohesive and harmonious manner is almost a guarantee that you will have a spectacularly designed garden.

You may enhance this and experiment by incorporating other elements, such as a focal point, and other design principles like balance, variety, repetition, uniformity, mass, and grouping. The key is to find and create a design that brings about the feel and look you want, while serving the function you intended it for.

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